Honda Engines Background Information

Honda is the world's largest manufacturer of engines for a diverse array of automotive, motorcycle, marine, and power equipment products. The company offers a complete line of small, general purpose engines for commercial, rental industry, and consumer applications. Honda engines supply smooth and dependable power for more than 3,000 different product applications including pressure washers, lawnmowers, and rescue and construction equipment.

Additionally, Honda engines are some of the quietest and easiest to start of their kind, even in harsh commercial and construction environments. Such attributes have made Honda engines the popular choice for original equipment manufacturers looking to add value to their own brands.

One Engine for All

Honda continuously works to meet future, lower EPA and CARB standards regarding the performance of its products. In January 2007, Honda Engines began certifying its models to the new, lower California Air Resources Board (CARB) 2007 standards, existing EPA Phase 2 emission requirements and offering 50 state compliant engines. Investing in meeting the strictest of environmental requirements in the development of one engine for use in all 50 states reflects Honda's forward thinking on emission regulations, air quality and the needs of its customers. Moreover, Honda engines meet the new CARB exhaust and evaporative emissions requirements without the use of a catalytic converter.

As a result, the overall emission levels from Honda engines have been reduced by more than 32 percent compared to 1995. Further, the EPA implemented a new emission control program to reduce hydrocarbon emissions from small spark-ignition engines by approximately 35 percent. Honda engines are in compliance with the current EPA Phase 3 standards (for both exhaust and evaporate emissions).

Defining Net Power in Honda Engines

The SAE J1349 standard measures net horsepower with the manufacturer's production muffler and air cleaner in place. Net horsepower more closely correlates with the power the operator will experience when using a Honda engine powered product. The power rating of the engines indicated in this document measures the net power output at 3600 rpm (7000 rpm for model GXH50, GXV50, GX25 and GX35) and net torque at 2500 rpm, as tested on a production engine. Mass production engines may vary from this value.

Actual power output for the engine installed in the final machine will vary depending on numerous factors, including the operation speed of the engine in application, environmental conditions, maintenance and other variables.

Product Line

Honda produces 29 models in six basic series:

Series

Primary Uses

Mini Four-Stroke Series
4 models

Hand-held portable
equipment

GX Series
V-Twin Series
iGX
19 models

Commercial and rental equipment

GS Series
2 models

Premium residential and light-duty commercial markets

GC Series
4 models

Premium residential power equipment

Mini Four-Stroke Technology for Better Performance, Cleaner Air

The advanced design of Honda's mini-four stroke engines, including a cross-flow combustion chamber, provides a wide, smooth range of torque unique to four-stroke technology. State-of-the-art design and manufacturing techniques have reduced the number of moving parts. Many of these techniques have resulted in reduced engine weight and smoother operation for the end user.

The Honda GX35 mini four-stroke engine is Honda's most powerful engine for handheld applications. Based on the same Honda 360-degree-inclinable mini four-stroke technology as the GX25, the 35.8cc GX35 features an oil-immersed timing belt and overhead-cam (OHC) architecture.

Unlike many two-stroke competitors, the GX35 delivers powerful output across a wide range of operating speeds with ample low-speed torque, which means that it does not always need to be operated at wide open throttle. This reduces noise and operator fatigue while substantially increasing fuel economy.

Honda GC Series of Overhead Cam Engines

The GC Series is Honda's solution to the need for quiet, efficient engines specifically designed for home-use power equipment applications. Honda's innovative design features – including the world's first internal timing belt on an engine of this kind, a tough nylon overhead cam, and uniblock construction – make the engines lighter and more compact than other engines in their class with significantly reduced noise, fuel and oil consumption.

Combined with Honda's innovative DuaLube™ lubrication system, the result is a simple, sophisticated design that minimizes the number of parts and can reduce some potential maintenance needs.

The GC Series includes the GC160/GC190 (horizontal shaft) and the GCV160/GCV190 (vertical shaft) models. Honda GC Series engines are designed specifically for premium, high volume residential power equipment applications. Horizontal shaft models are ideal for a variety of consumer products, including pressure washers, water pumps, compressors, and portable generators. Vertical shaft models typically power devices like lawnmowers and pressure washers but also find applications in other residential uses.

Additionally, Honda also introduced electric start options on the GC/GCV160 and GC/GCV190 models, available nationally through Honda Engine distributors and to OEMs.

Honda GS Series of Overhead Cam Engines

The Honda GS Series is positioned squarely between the GC Series premium residential and the GX Series commercial engines.

The GS190 horizontal shaft and GSV190 vertical shaft models are designed to serve both premium residential and light-duty commercial markets. Intended for use on such popular applications as pumps, blowers, mowers, and tillers, these Honda models satisfy the homeowner seeking ultimate performance, and the contractor seeking a lightweight, compact package.

Capitalizing on the same basic OHC architecture as Honda's extremely popular GC engines, the GS features uniblock construction and a unique internal timing belt design that results in the lightest and most compact package in its class. With 187 cubic centimeters of displacement, this efficient design also delivers an unparalleled power-to-weight ratio with quiet operation, and easy starting.

To further enhance performance and durability, the Honda GS engines incorporate a cast iron cylinder sleeve and a redesigned piston with a three-piece oil control ring. Adding to the engine's commercial character, the GSV190 features ball bearings on the flywheel side of the crankshaft, while the GS190 utilizes ball bearings at both ends of the crankshaft. A dual stage air filter with an oiled pre-filter enhances engine performance in the dusty environment often created by mowing or tilling.

The Honda GS engines exemplify Honda's fundamental design philosophies of durability, quality, reliability, ease of starting and high fuel economy.

Honda GX Series of Overhead Valve Engines

The GX Series offers reliable, easy starting and fuel efficient power for a variety of commercial applications. Featuring four all-new larger models (GX240, GX270, GX340, and GX390) that were completely redesigned in 2010, these engines feature a rugged OHV design that ensures a high level of durability and reliability for construction, maintenance and premium power equipment and makes the engines ideal for the rental market. This market relies on Honda OHV engines to ensure customer satisfaction with a minimal level of maintenance and repair.

The new large GX engine models feature a host of technologies and design elements that allow for improved power output. The engines produce six percent more power than previous models, making them among the most powerful engines in each of their respective categories. This additional power is achieved via an advanced combustion chamber design, the implementation of Digital Capacitive Discharge Ignition (CDI) with variable ignition timing, and an increased compression ratio. Although fuel efficiency is a key attribute of all Honda engines, fuel consumption in the new GX family of engines has been significantly reduced. Large GX engines, for example, increase fuel efficiency by 12 percent. In addition to high fuel efficiency, the new GX engines meet current EPA exhaust emission regulations without the use of a catalyst.

Honda mid GX engines – the GX120, the GX160 and the GX200 – are single-cylinder, horizontal-shaft models that meet current EPA Phase 3 exhaust and evaporative emissions standards. These engines are an ideal fit for an array of commercial turf applications and equipment including generators; construction / industrial equipment; agricultural equipment; water pumps; and pressure washers. The mid GX models are equipped with a number of design enhancements, including a new carburetor chamber coating; a recoil rope design change; the addition of a carburetor filter; and an improved fuel tank guard – all of which improve their fuel economy, reliability and durability. Further, these engines, while having the same existing physical dimensions and power output of the models they replace, boast increased performance resulting, in part, from the incorporation of these innovative features:

  • improved fuel economy through changes in valve timing, compression ratio, carburetor settings, and cooling system modifications;
  • emissions standards met through changes in valve timing, carburetor settings, and other proprietary components;
  • low noise levels achieved via a change in muffler structure design, breather valve, push rod materials, and crank/case cover rigidity;
  • vibration reduction accomplished through use of a lighter engine piston.

Also part of the GX Series are the GX OHV V-Twin engines. The most powerful engines ever offered by Honda are designed to offer customers more power and adaptability with greater fuel economy in a more compact package. Six V-Twin models (GX/GXV630, GX/GXV660 and GX/GXV690) are available in both horizontal and vertical shaft configurations, are well-suited for light utility vehicles as well as commercial turf, construction and rental equipment applications. More specifically, Honda's V-Twin engines are designed for demanding, power-hungry, commercial applications including: commercial turf equipment (zero-turn radius mowers, lawn tractors, trenchers, stump grinders and chipper/shredders); construction equipment (concrete saws, vibratory rollers, ride-on cement trowels, and generators); additional applications include pressure washers and floor buffers.

The V-Twin features an advanced style that not only looks different from other engines in its class but provides increased functionality. The engine is more compact and offers more versatility for a greater breadth of product applications. A number of elements, including a hemispherical combustion chamber, an integrated cylinder and cylinder head, forged steel connecting rods, a 9.3:1 compression ratio, a digital CDI with variable ignition timing, and twin barrel inner-vent carburetion, contribute to an overall enhanced operation with remarkable fuel consumption and emissions performance.

Overall, Honda produces 20 models in the GX Series, which are available in either horizontal or vertical shaft and in either single cylinder or V-Twin versions. The single cylinder, horizontal shaft models — GXH50, GX100, GX120, GX160, GX200, GX240, GX270, GX340, and GX390 — power a variety of commercial equipment from small pumps and generators to cement mixers, pressure washers, trenchers, concrete saws and construction equipment. The single cylinder vertical shaft models — GXV50, GXV160, GXV340, and GXV390 — perform similar functions where a vertical shaft is required, such as in commercial lawnmowers, power turf equipment, and floor buffers.

In early 2012, Honda introduced all-new spline shaft models of its popular and durable V-Twin general purpose engine. The new spline shaft brings an increased ease of assembly and connection with a more compact design for V-Twin engine users working with hydraulic power pump industrial products.  Offered in horizontal engine configurations, the new spline shaft V-Twin engine models will offer construction customers more flexibility to efficiently install engines directly to a variety of diverse applications.  The Honda GX630 and GX690 V-Twin engines feature this new shaft; these models are an excellent fit for commercial, rental and turf applications that include pumps, such as vibratory rollers, trenchers and other hydraulic power pump machines.

The Honda iGX: An Intelligent General Purpose Engine

The Honda iGX is a revolutionary, intelligent, computer-controlled general purpose engine that sets an even higher standard for ease of use, fuel efficiency, and quiet operation. In 2010, Honda expanded its iGX Series with an all-new iGX340 and iGX390 engine. The iGX Series offers further enhancements to the GX series, incorporating an electronic self tuning regulator (STR) governor. Similar to GX, iGX engines are also (OHV) horizontal shaft engines, yet provide additional advanced technologies for more complex applications.

In addition, the iGX340 and 390 models feature an integrated electronic control unit (ECU) that delivers complete drive-by-wire remote control capability and controls key aspects of engine operation.

Benefiting both consumers and the environment, iGX technology results in lower fuel consumption and lower noise through reduced total engine running time and engine speed that can be lowered based on power demands. This intelligent technology works in conjunction with the engine's V-type valve layout and spark plug center combustion chamber to yield a fuel economy increase of approximately 15 percent compared to a similar conventional engine.

Additionally, the iGX is easier for users to operate, eliminating the need for manual manipulation of the choke and throttle and making it ideal for rental applications.

Manufacturing and R&D

Honda Power Equipment products are assembled at 11 Honda manufacturing facilities around the world, including Honda Power Equipment Mfg., Inc., located in Haw River, North Carolina. Research, development, and testing activities are conducted at Honda R&D Americas, Inc., also located in Haw River, North Carolina, and Honda R&D Co., Ltd., in Japan.

Overall, Honda Power Equipment Mfg., Inc. (HPE) has boosted the number of its general purpose engines produced per year for use by Honda and other OEMs. In addition to engines, HPE produces Honda generators, lawnmowers, snowblowers, pumps, tillers and string trimmers. Honda's North Carolina Research and Development Center is an 11,000 square foot facility established in 1993 that conducts product engineering, prototype development, and testing of power equipment products.

Editor's Note:

Honda Power Equipment, a division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., markets a complete range of outdoor power equipment, including outboard marine engines, general purpose engines, generators, lawn mowers, pumps, snowblowers, tillers and trimmers for commercial, rental and residential applications. Its comprehensive product line is powered exclusively by four-stroke engines.

Information for media regarding Honda products is available at www.hondanews.com.

Consumer information regarding Honda products is available at www.honda.com, www.powerequipment.honda.com, www.hondaengines.com, and www.hondamarine.com.

Updated October 2012

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